Is “Wherever You Are” Neil Finn’s most romantic song?

In 1996, a TV advert ran with the tagline, “you know more Crowded House songs than you think you do.” It was clever, but also true. The inherent catchiness in Neil Finn’s songwriting paired with lyrics that sit on a knife’s edge between reality and dreams ensure that his songs, once in your brain, are […]

Billie Holiday Cuts to the Core on “Strange Fruit”

Autumn, 1937. Harvard graduate, now high school English teacher Abel Meeropol submits his newest poetic offering to local Union publication The New York Teacher in a bold and unapologetic attempt to shine a light southward and into the face of the ongoing atrocities that seem to stick like burweed into the fabric of Southern culture. […]

The The get “Infected” with a Sweet Disease

In 1989 English band The The released Mind Bomb, a luscious album that capitalised on everything its predecessor had promised. It’s a quiet masterpiece that still holds very strong today and is one of my favourite albums of all time. But the previous 1986 album was where I discovered this passionate, unique band. I was […]

Retrospective: Blaze Foley’s Last Show “Live at the Austin Outhouse”

The first thing I regret about writing a Blaze Foley retrospective is that it is, by nature, retroactive—that is, that I am yet another in a long string of fans, reviewers, and artists who have come to know and appreciate his talent when it is far, far too late. No amount of good things I […]

Sinead O’Connor’s “The Last Day of Our Acquaintance”

This is the last day of our acquaintanceI will meet you later in somebody’s office The opening lyrics to Sinead O’Connor’s “The Last Day of Our Acquaintance” enter briskly, as a cold autumn wind through a poorly-sealed window frame. Clinical, mechanical, and void of all but exhaustion, O’Connor aptly reflects and envelopes all the emotion […]

The Righteous Brothers “Unchained Melody” and the Thread that Connects Us

“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, and circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle. But it will never break.” That’s the ancient Eastern proverbial counterpart to the West’s ‘twin flame’ theory. Meeting people is easy in the revolving door-reality of modern daily life. So easy, in […]

Phosphorescent Rips Love’s Heart Out on “Song for Zula”

Love. It has been the catalyst and impetus of the vast majority of art since some short time after our ancestors covered the walls of Lascaux and Chevaux caves with the earliest forms of artistic expression. Often – too often – musicians opt for the easy path of beating the long-dead ‘my heart is broken […]

Prince Slams Societal Discord on “Sign O’ The Times”

It’s 1986 and Prince’s career is in full-afterburner mode. “Purple Rain,” “When Doves Cry,” and “Raspberry Beret” have already cemented his inclusion among the most successful – and talented – popular musicians of the second half of the 20th century. Tepid off of two less-than-seismic releases, The Artist has decided to go rogue, disbanding his […]

Steve Earle Dismantles Capital Punishment on “Ellis Unit One”

“I object to my government killing people because my government is meant to be me and I object to me killing people.” This is simply one of many damning quotes by legendary American folk artist Steve Earle regarding America’s arguably archaic capital punishment laws. It’s 1995 and famed actor/producer/director Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption, Jacob’s […]

“1979” – The Smashing Pumpkins’ best song

There’s three things I love about The Smashing Pumpkins. First, Billy Corgan’s look – watch the videos for “Ava Adore” or “Stand Inside Your Love” – he’s mesmerizing, a modern rock Nosferatu. Second, their name – it’s hilarious! And third, “1979” – their best song. There are other songs I like but “1979” has this […]

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